Spare Time

LAYING NEW GROUND

My love affair with France began some 35 years ago, when I moved there to work in advertising. My passion began in Paris, where I was living, and several years later spread to the French countryside, when I bought a 17th-century manor house in Normandy. In hindsight, I can directly attribute those early years in France to my decision to change careers and become a designer. Americans have long felt an affinity for France; for me, it is the rich architectural history and love of gardens that won me over and has become an integral part of who I am today.

That first manor house in Normandy served as my introduction to the process of historical restoration and also to the creation of gardens. I realized the importance of creating a link between life inside the house and extending the living space out into the gardens. From that smaller manor house, I moved up to châteaux, and have had four different ones ranging in period from the 15th to the 18th century. My friends have jokingly referred to me as a “château-holic,” and I have been referred to in the French press as “the château whisperer.” I love everything about French châteaux—their architectural details, their lovely gardens, the roles they have played in the areas in which they are built, and the thousands of people whose lives they have touched over the centuries.

I am happy to say that I finally found the château that is “just right” for me. Let me introduce you to Château de la Chevallerie, which roughly means “château of chivalry.”

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LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE ÉDOUARD ANDRÉ AND TIMOTHY CORRIGAN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY XAVIER BÉJOT

WRITTEN BY TIMOTHY CORRIGAN

This story appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of MILIEU.